How to tune in to your Mexican roots as a Chicano

Three simple steps to re-embrace your culture



Musical and dance performance featuring the Mariachi “Quetzal” band for the Assemblies of WIPO Member States, which met from October 2-11, 2017. Via Violaine Martin/Flickr.

With many Chicanos considered not Mexican enough due to being raised in the United States, they struggle with their cultural identity. There is no one there to guide them to their Mexican roots as Mexican culture is more content with only making jokes about how white they are.

Luckily, this article is here to help you uncover your Mexican roots without jokes or judgment.

Follow the Mexican national soccer team

Mexico’s national soccer team, nicknamed El Trí, is probably the second most attributed item to the country besides tacos. Napoli starter Hirving “Chucky” Lozano leads the 11-time Gold Cup winners in games as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has recently no longer featured.

It is vital to know Mexico has a historic curse at the World Cup of being unable to advance past the fourth game. No matter how much Mexicans believe in the national team, even causing earthquakes with celebrations, the curse continued in 2022 with an embarrassing third-game exit against Saudi Arabia.

Your Mexican roots will be shown by rooting against our northern rivals in the U.S. Don’t expect any wins soon as Mexico has not beaten their rivals since 2019. Still, wearing your green jersey and shouting “Gooooooooooool” when El Trí scores is as Mexican as it gets.

Host a family carne asada

It is a running joke when a non-Latino understands Mexican culture and is told, “You’re invited to the carne asada.” Mexican families throwing parties and cooking carne asada is the norm in the culture.

The easiest way to serve carne asada is with tacos, so make sure to buy onions, cilantro, salsa and more. A Mexican staple of drinks is “agua frescas” or fresh fruit drinks.

The only problem you might face is that you need to be a cook. If you’re worried, don’t be! Mexicans have thought of that problem as well. There are taco caterers you can hire for your carne asada to have good food and be able to talk to everyone at the party.

Learn to speak any bit of Spanish (or at least understand it)

Many Chicanos suffer from being “pochos” – meaning “discolored” – or being from a Latino family and not knowing English. Not being bilingual is one of the main reasons many Chicanos feel like they cannot connect with their Mexican roots and culture.

Learning Spanish is a great way to get in touch with your culture. Thankfully, the internet and apps such as Duolingo make it super accessible to pick up a new language anytime. Even if you only understand Spanish and struggle to speak it, your knowledge and understanding have increased. New music and books are available that previously were not, and so are certain conversations you can now eavesdrop on. Si se puede!

Now that you know what it takes to get in touch with your Mexican roots, get ready to start screaming “Goooooooooooool” at the carne asada!